Month: May 2015
By Kelly Posey
Think People On Food Stamps Are Eating More Lobster Than You? Think Again
Stories of SNAP recipients using benefits to buy shellfish and junk food abound.
“I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs with their EBT cards,” Rick Bratten, a Missouri Republican who this year proposed prohibiting SNAP recipients from buying seafood or steak, told the Washington Post. “When I can’t afford it on my pay, I don’t want people on the taxpayer’s dime to afford those kinds of foods either.”
In Maine and Wisconsin, lawmakers are pushing legislation to restrict SNAP benefits to foods deemed healthy. The Wisconsin State Assembly approved legislation this week to ban junk food and also “crab, lobster, shrimp, or any other shellfish.” The bill’s sponsor cited “anecdotal and perceived abuses.”
Frankly, I don’t know how someone could really afford to regularly eat lobster on food stamps. You don’t really get enough money to eat comfortably. I mean, sure, you could buy some lobster this week, and maybe go a bit hungry the next. But really, who cares? You can do that with your hard earned wages too if you want. But it really doesn’t matter.
For those who would be concerned that individuals on food stamps are eating more luxuriously than you can on work wages, look – the problem of you not being able to afford expensive food on your wages is not caused by someone on food stamps buying lobster. Therefore, the solution is not contained in trying to prevent those on food stamps from buying lobster or what have you. That would actually likely have more of a negative effect. It would take much more bureaucratic oversight to impose stricter limitations on what can be bought with food stamps, requiring more government work, paid by your taxes.
Wages are low because the economy is low because nobody has any money to spend into the economy. It’s a vicious cycle that just feeds itself and more and more we feel the squeeze. What boosts the economy is people having money to spend into the economy. At this point jobs can’t be counted on to provide enough income to individuals and that’s why we have a support system like food stamps. We have a lot of welfare programs in the U.S., taking up a lot of government resources because it is already divided into so many different programs to ensure that it’s spent on certain things. So much added bureaucracy and tax money going into a lot of double-work, essentially, filling out and processing applications for each different program.
This is why I support the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal, because it proposes to simplify and streamline the welfare process by providing a basic income to those who need it, to be used to cover all one’s primary needs. There doesn’t need to be multiple programs with multiple application processes and reporting processes and so on, when it can be done from one platform. And there doesn’t need to be restrictions on how/where it is spent. That can be up to the individual, as it is the best way for individuals to learn financial responsibility, by going through the consequences themselves, and studies have shown that when individuals are given the chance they do not generally make poor choices, as some would seem to imply or expect. Certainly deciding for individuals promotes dependency as it does not encourage or provide an opportunity for an individual to learn and develop self responsibility.
So let’s make sure that we focus on the real problem and therefore the real solution, and not get caught up in a form of blame game and ‘it’s not fair’ point, like ‘if I can’t have it then neither can they’ I mean, how does that help anything at all? Rather, look at how do we go about creating that which we would like, for everyone, and realize that things don’t have to be the way they are. We live in a world where there is plenty, we need to stop getting lost in blaming each other, and focus on bringing about the changes that will actually solve the problems we’re experiencing.
Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal
- The Living Income Blog
- Living Income Discussions on Google Hangout (Done Weekly)
- The Living Income Discussion Board
- Equal Life Foundation – Site
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
This entry was posted in Living Income Guaranteed, Minimum Wage, Money Supply, Nationalization of Resources, Politics, Poverty, Qualification for Basic Income, Redestribution of Wealth, Social Development, Social Responsibility, Trust, Welfare and tagged basic income, consumer choices, financial responsibility, food stamps, government spending, Kelly Posey, LIG, living income guaranteed, lobster, obamacare, snap benefits, taxes, US crisis, welfare.